• Fri, Aug 15 - 9:50 am ET

Open Thread: What Was Your Favorite Beauty Product When You Were 13?

Lately, we have been discussing mistakes that we all made when we were 13 years old, from over-plucking our eyebrows to frying our hair with heat tools to wearing arbitrary slogan t-shirts. To continue our nostalgic walk down memory lane, let’s talk about the things we loved most as teens: weird beauty products! Aside from all the terrible things puberty gifted us with, there were so many silly, wonderful and odd makeup and hair trends for us all to enjoy.

Whether you grew up in the 80s, 90s, 2000s or any other decade (hey, even the 1800s had some truly terrible trends), you probably wore bizarre beauty items out in public and embarrassed your mother at least a little bit. When I was 13, my absolute favorite makeup products were the following:

  • Bath & Body Works Art Stuff glitter in “Blue Raspberry,” which was inexplicably a flavor, scent and color that blew up in the 90s
  • White frosted lipstick
  • Thick, icy-blue eyeliner
  • Concealer in the wrong color

I remember being genuinely convinced that if I wore the aforementioned white frosted lipstick to the coed soccer camp my parents sent me to, I would inevitably come back with a really attractive boyfriend who wore headbands in his big, fluffy hair. Spoiler alert: I did not, and never wound up dating a soccer player ever. I blame the lipstick.

As for my hair, I absolutely loved doing the teensy tiny braids that Heather mentioned. I would spend an hour just doing thin braids on my hair while it was still wet at night, then wake up and take them out and be disappointed at how not modelesque I looked. And then I would try this technique again approximately six more times that month, then put cutesy barrettes in my awkward pasta-inspired waves.

So, dear readers, share with me your embarrassments (or sources of nostalgic pride!) now that I’ve shared mine. What was your favorite beauty product when you were 13? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Heather C

    Lip Smackers! I also had a roll-on glitter set that had a different shade for every day of the week. Don’t be jealous.

    • Samantha Escobar

      YESSSSSS. YES Lip Smackers forever.

  • Alana Vincenza

    Roll-on glitter stick to be used anywhere I saw fit, bonne bell (lip smackers) lip gloss, black eyeliner that I only put on my waterline. And all of this was topped off with tiny little fish hook eyebrows.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh yeah man, I was so down with Bonne Bell.

      And girl–I feel you on the eyebrows. I plucked mine into two different shapes in sixth grade and, holy crap, those took forever to grow out.

  • Jenni

    Bath and Body Works Pearberry everything. EVERYTHING. Sometimes,I swear, I still smell like pearberry. Why pearberry? Because everyone else loved vanilla (what, are you a cupcake!) and cucumber melon (those don’t even go together!) and I had to be different.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh my god I loved pearberry. And now I feel like going to B&BW to get myself some hand soap…

  • loser_sneeze

    Covergirl Lipslicks Lipgloss. It felt grownup to wear but was really sheer so my mom didn’t mind that I wore it. Ohhh, and Bonne Belle Lip Lix.

    • Samantha Escobar

      LOVED LIPSLICKS. Yesss.

  • Alexandra Mitchell

    Absolutely those huge multi-shade eye shadow sets where I could not realistically look good in like 75% of the colors. And too bright lipstick. Oh, and whipped concealer.

    • Jenni

      OMG, I had one with 400 colors. 399 of those colors absolutely did not suit me.

    • Samantha Escobar

      YES. And not only were they unflattering colors, they were never pigmented nearly as well as they looked. You would see a pretty shade, put your brush in it, and then apply what was basically just translucent dust.

  • Alexis Rhiannon

    Oh god, like brown-tinted lip glosses. AND LIP LINER WHAT WAS I THINKING.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Omg brown tinted lip gloss. I used to think it looked ~*so grown up*~.

  • Michelle

    lots and lots of hairspray.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh yeah. I’ve now replaced it with just a remarkable overuse of dry shampoo products, but I looooved hairspray before.

  • Tara

    Hair mascara, roll-on glitter, anything Art Stuff, cream eyeshadow worn as eyeliner, SUN IN. Combined with a bad perm, I was hot stuff I must say.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh my god I loved all of these things so much, right down to wearing cream eyeshadow (frosted blue for meee) as eyeliner.

  • Triscuit

    This Wet ‘N Wild eyeliner in a particularly bright shade of peacock blue, which I only wore in my waterline. (I took the word “eyeliner” very literally) I never wore eyeshadow, either, just that ridiculous eyeliner. Plus those Love’s perfumes, BabySoft and all those. I had the whole set. The Rain one was my favorite.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Wait, I think I know exactly what you’re talking about with that Wet ‘N’ Wild eyeliner, and if I’m correct, then that was (and is) still my favorite Wet ‘N’ Wild product ever ever ever. So bright! I don’t really wear it these days, but I always appreciated how inexpensive they were for the quality.

  • Jessica

    Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon was my favorite scent ever and I used all the products I could. I was also really into those little Bottled Emotions scents from I think Claires. And body glitter anything because… obviously.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Anything from Claire’s, omg. And I feel like after my Blue Raspberry Art Stuff phase, I decided to “grow up” and move onto Cucumber Melon. So delicious.

  • Ashley Reese

    I didn’t really wear makeup when I was 13 but I did think that those Juicy Tubes (those Juicy Couture lipglosses) were so cool because all the cool girls had em. It was like $20 lip gloss though so WTF was I thinking?

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh my goodness, how did I miss those? I remember a few of my friends having them and I think I even asked for them for my birthday once, but I’ve never actually tried them! I do, however, still own Juicy Couture perfume. I would be slightly ashamed but it smells SO GOOD still.

  • Charmless

    Body Shop vanilla or peach perfume. Now, I’m so old that this was before they changed the vanilla formula. In a blind sniff-test, I think I could still tell the difference between 1994 Body Shop vanilla and 2014 Body Shop vanilla.

    I had dozens of Wet’n'Wild nailpolishes and I’d paint every nail a different color. There was no method to my madness. I didn’t do ombre or stick within a color family or a particular finish. I’d have gilttery gold on one finger, frosty pink on another, neon green on a third, etc. Add to that the fact that I compulsively pick at my fingernails, so my style technically consisted of ten different clashing shades of chipped nailpolish.

    I was 13 in the golden age of grunge so I didn’t wear a lot of makeup on my face until I was a bit older and decided I was going to be the lovechild of Gwen Stefani and Marilyn Manson.

    • Samantha Escobar

      That’s effing amazing. I had no idea it was a different scent than before! I wonder how many of the scents I loved that they changed…

    • Charmless

      It was around the time they went from the little, round bottles that never quite sealed all the way shut and the taller bottles. They didn’t even make spray eau de toilette in the early ’90s.

      Does the peach scent even exist anymore?

    • Samantha Escobar

      I’m not sure, but I do recall them having an incredibly luminous and gorgeous cream blush that I loved…I need to do some digging.

  • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

    Mine was bright red lipstick and lots of white face powder. I would classify it now as a “baby goth” phase, although I don’t think, or at least wasn’t aware, of that being an actual thing in the early 90′s.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh hell yes. I bought white face powder at Hot Topic when I was like 14 and wore it every day of ninth grade. I didn’t wear much bright red lipstick at the time, though, so it was less baby goth/doll-like and more Uncle Fester :(

  • It’s-a me!

    As much eyeshadow as I could get in one handy carrying case, all being worn at once. All the manic panic I could find, also all at once. Somebody had to be punk rock Rainbow Brite, dammit!

    • Samantha Escobar

      Punk Rock Rainbow Brite: The Musical (or at least an idea for a musical that I would TOTALLY WATCH). Also, Manic Panic 4ever.

    • Hanna Kasik

      This sounds like my blue wash out hair dye phase back then and I approve.

  • https://soundcloud.com/kirsten-ascio Kirsten

    I had those *Nsync lip balms in the different flavors. Justin got vanilla, I feel like he got cheated.

    Also, wet n wild EVERYTHING.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh my god, yes @ band makeup. (Speaking of which, I kind of want to try all the One Direction makeup and I don’t even know why.) Didn’t Spice Girls have a line, too, or am I crazy?

    • Raquel

      Pretty sure they did. And it was sold at Limited Too. They had like, an entire Spice Girls section.

  • sabina

    dark vampy brown lipstick

    • Samantha Escobar

      Yessss I loved that stuff. Definitely applied dark brown lipliner with it and it looked ridiculous, but I loved it.

  • JennyWren

    There was a strict no makeup rule at my school in the UK when I was a teenager, so we had to be very sneaky and subtle about what make-up we did wear to avoid detection. Because my skin was so bad, I’d wear a thick layer of Rimmel’s Stay Matte foundation and then their Clear Complexion face powder on top (which did nothing to conceal my acne and in fact made it look a lot worse as the powder settled into each little crater). Blusher and mascara were out because they could be easily seen, so a lot of us wore Collection (then known as Collection 2000) clear mascara, which cost about $3 a tube and in retrospect did absolutely nothing whatsoever. I always had a little tin of tinted Vaseline lip therapy, which could be passed off as lip balm. A lot of my friends smoked and they would attempt to cover up the smell with Impulse body sprays, which were pretty much the female equivalent of Axe. We were, I have to admit, a dreary looking bunch.

    • Samantha Escobar

      I want “Dreary Looking Bunch” to be the name of a band so badly.

      Weird question: was your school a private or public school? I’m just curious because I went to both private and public, and I noticed that the makeup rules varied between the two considerably (though that was here in New York so they’re probably different, but I’m still curious haha).

    • JennyWren

      This was a state school- confusingly in the UK, “public school” generally means “private” and v.v. expensive- schools that are open to the public sans fees are state schools.* I don’t really know, but I think our rules were a little stricter than normal- we also had to wear full (and dreary) uniforms all the way through sixth form, which I’ve been told is not the case everywhere in the UK.

      * I’ve also typed “school” so many times now that it looks weird to me.

  • Alicia715

    That obscenely sticky Victoria’s Secret lip gloss. You know the kind that had the fantastic shine but you always got your hair stuck in?

    • Samantha Escobar

      YES. I don’t know why I loved such shiny gloss. I can’t even handle MAC Lip Glass or anything like that still.

  • Anne Marie Hawkins

    Mascara that a friend and I found in a trashbag full of makeup by the side of the road. Seriously. I’m lucky I didn’t lose an eye.

    • Samantha Escobar

      I literally laughed out loud at this comment. Omg.

    • Samantha Escobar

      (But not at the idea of you losing an eye obvs.)

    • Anne Marie Hawkins

      Oh no, laugh away, now that I’m 25 and (mostly) sighted, it’s hilarious. I’m horrified, but amused.

  • Hannah A.

    Lip smackers lipbalms, black kohl/pencil liner, a ton of gray/black eyeshadow and the occasional gloss. I am somewhat ashamed of myself.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh girl, don’t be ashamed! If it makes you feel any better, I used to just pile on black eyeshadow sometimes. No blending, no real structure…just a pile of black effing eyeshadow.

    • Hannah A.

      I did that too! I looked like Taylor Momsen after getting caught in the rain.

      :(

  • Holly

    Victoria’s Secret scented stuff. I had a favorite called Exotic Bouquet that was, of course, discontinued. Glitter. Dark lip liner and mauve eye shadow as lipstick. Joop. Multiple scrunchies. I think all of my makeup at that time was from Merle Norman, where I had received a gift certificate from my pretentious, dramatic aunt so that I could get my first “grown up” makeup, even though I had been wearing makeup for at least a year. She also bought me my first “grown up” outfit at a little boutique she worked at in our town of 5k. It was black leather pants and a blue silk button down shirt. It looked pretty hot with my red hair which was in the shape of a triangle because of the cut and perm.

    • Samantha Escobar

      When I was a kid/teenager, I thought Victoria’s Secret perfumes were like ~*the sexiest thang ever*~ and that if I wore them, there was no possible way all the cute boyzz wouldn’t like me. (But I won’t lie, sometimes I still walk in there and smell the perfumes and think they’re weirdly awesome.)

      I have never heard of Merle Norman! It sounds fancy. As does that leather pant/blue silk outfit.

    • Holly

      I’m pretty sure it can just be referred to as “Small Town Housewife with a Bit of Spending Money Makeup.”

  • Veronica

    Natural Glow honey lip balm that came in the oval tin. I miss those so much. Ombre Rose perfume. Wet n Wild brown eyeliner which I drew on thickly. Cover Girl Clean pressed powder. I remember getting one of those 100 shade eyeshadow palettes one Christmas and I wore only one magnificent shade until it was all gone. It was a vibrant pastel matte lavender. I’ve been chasing the dragon looking for a dupe ever since.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Ooh, that Natural Glow stuff sounds wonderful! And oh man, those massive palettes were so frustrating because there were always like 3 colors out of 834834 eyeshadows that were actually pretty :( And hmmm…I’m gonna peek around and see if I can find you a few dupe ideas!

  • simoneutecht

    Sea breeze and dried out my skin to all get out. Wasn’t it just mentholated rubbing alcohol?

    • Samantha Escobar

      Ooooh what was sea breeze?! I’ve never heard of it.

    • simoneutecht

      Oh my god Sea Breeze was a toner that was just straight up mentholated alcohol tinted bluish to resemble the sea. All it ever did was dry the fuck out of my face but I thought that was good at 13.

  • Gorgeousguru

    Mine was flavored lip gloss. Lol I didn’t know how to wear makeup and I was a tomboy.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oof, I loooved flavored lip gloss, especially sweet ones.

      Also, don’t worry–even if you didn’t know how to wear makeup or didn’t like it, you just wound up avoiding making all the ridic mistakes people like me made, haha. Chances are, you have WAY FEWER embarrassing photos from your childhood/teen years. :P

  • Raquel

    Hard Candy nail polish (the ones with the rings on caps) when I was little girl (I was born in 89′). Revlon Streetwear, and Dr. Pepper lipsmackers.

    • Samantha Escobar

      OH wow, thank you for reminding me about Lip Smackers that were soda pop themed. I LOVED the orange soda one (Sunkist? Fanta?).

    • Raquel

      It was a Sunkist one, I believe. I help do all the cosmetics ordering for a local drugstore chain here in Detroit, so I see all the Smacker flavors they have now. There’s Sprite, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke…any flavor you can imagine!

  • Anita

    1997. Glitter. Hair glitter. Body glitter. Lip glitter. Eye glitter. God, glitter was so hot that year.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Omg, I am imagining a human disco ball and I kind of love it.

  • Elyne

    Technically I wasn’t allowed to wear make up at school so i could only wear that after school. I also not so sneakily stole my moms make up. Especially her nailpolish usually in pink disappeared. But I did bought lots of flavoured lipglosses oh and body glitter.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Oh man, I totally used my mom’s makeup all the time (sorry about your Mary Kay lip gloss, mama!). Adult makeup was just so much better than the ones aimed at teens!

  • Hanna Kasik

    At 13, I have to say the tried and true favorites were:
    Really bad, odd mauve colored eye shadow
    Brown eyeliner (only on bottom lids, and not black because I wasn’t allowed-ugh)
    Mascara
    And Victoria’s Secret Appletini body splash. Yup. That was the thing. That and Neutrogena face wash were the only two things I ever really used.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Whoa, brown eyeliner was allowed but not black?! That is a rule I’ve never heard of, though then again, my high school allowed us to wear any color of denim except blue, so I’m always confused by school rules, haha.

      YES. I LOVED the Appletini scent! To be honest, I probably would still love it, just because it’s fruity and sweet and would remind me of my favorite cocktail from when I was like 19.

    • Hanna Kasik

      The rule was a family rule, because black eyeliner, when it ran, made me look like a deranged raccoon. And my family got sort of sick of that look. So they made me switch. My friend had appletini and cotton candy. Both sickeningly sweet, but much loved back then.

    • Samantha Escobar

      OH, I thought it was a school one, which would have been so much more difficult to enforce and would involve a lot of teachers leaning in very closely, which would’ve been weird.